JCC Bomb Threats Suspect Traded Millions in Bitcoin on Darknet, Probe Reveals

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Jewish leaders met on March 3 with FBI Director James Comey and other federal officials to discuss the recent wave of antisemitic threats and attacks. Photo: Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

JNS.org – Israel’s Rishon LeZion Magistrates’ Court Thursday remanded a 19-year-old Israeli-American hacker from Ashkelon to police custody for an additional 12 days. It marked the suspect’s third remand since his March 23 arrest as part of an FBI investigation into allegations that he phoned in bomb threats to Jewish institutions—primarily JCCs—in the US, Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

The case has seen significant developments in recent days, as investigators analyzing the suspect’s computer for evidence discovered he had traded millions of dollars in bitcoin digital currency on the darknet. Police believe the suspect used the darknet to sell drugs and forged passports, drivers’ licenses and other identity papers. Authorities are now investigating the parties who paid for his services.

In a previous hearing, the teen’s attorney argued his actions were influenced by autism and an inoperable brain tumor. Police are seeking to charge the suspect with a series of criminal offenses, including malicious intent to cause harm, sabotage, extortion and intimidation, money laundering, illegal possession of weapons, receiving illicit benefits under aggravated circumstances, falsifying computer records, hacking, inciting public panic and unlawful impersonation for the purpose of committing fraud.

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